Warw. Then gentle Clarence, welcome vnto Warwicke, And welcome Somerset: I hold it cowardize, To rest mistrustfull, where a Noble Heart Hath pawn'd an open Hand, in signe of Loue; Else might I thinke, that Clarence, Edwards Brother, Were but a fained friend to our proceedings: But welcome sweet Clarence, my Daughter shall be thine. And now, what rests? but in Nights Couerture, Thy Brother being carelessely encamp'd, His Souldiors lurking in the Towne about, And but attended by a simple Guard, Wee may surprize and take him at our pleasure, Our Scouts haue found the aduenture very easie: That as Vlysses, and stout Diomede, With sleight and manhood stole to Rhesus Tents, And brought from thence the Thracian fatall Steeds; So wee, well couer'd with the Nights black Mantle, At vnawares may beat downe Edwards Guard, And seize himselfe: I say not, slaughter him, For I intend but onely to surprize him. You that will follow me to this attempt, Applaud the Name of Henry, with your Leader.

They all cry, Henry.

Why then, let's on our way in silent sort, For Warwicke and his friends, God and Saint George.


Enter three Watchmen to guard the Kings Tent.

1.Watch. Come on my Masters, each man take his stand, The King by this, is set him downe to sleepe

2.Watch. What, will he not to Bed? 1.Watch. Why, no: for he hath made a solemne Vow, Neuer to lye and take his naturall Rest, Till Warwicke, or himselfe, be quite supprest

2.Watch. To morrow then belike shall be the day, If Warwicke be so neere as men report

3.Watch. But say, I pray, what Noble man is that, That with the King here resteth in his Tent? 1.Watch. 'Tis the Lord Hastings, the Kings chiefest friend

3.Watch. O, is it so? but why commands the King, That his chiefe followers lodge in Townes about him, While he himselfe keepes in the cold field? 2.Watch. 'Tis the more honour, because more dangerous

3.Watch. I, but giue me worship, and quietnesse, I like it better then a dangerous honor. If Warwicke knew in what estate he stands, 'Tis to be doubted if he would waken him

1.Watch. Vnlesse our Halberds did shut vp his passage

2.Watch. I: wherefore else guard we his Royall Tent, But to defend his Person from Night-foes? Enter Warwicke, Clarence, Oxford, Somerset, and French Souldiors, silent all.

Warw. This is his Tent, and see where stand his Guard: Courage my Masters: Honor now, or neuer: But follow me, and Edward shall be ours

1.Watch. Who goes there? 2.Watch. Stay, or thou dyest.

Warwicke and the rest cry all, Warwicke, Warwicke, and set vpon the Guard, who flye, crying, Arme, Arme, Warwicke and the rest following them.

The Drumme playing, and Trumpet sounding. Enter Warwicke, Somerset, and the rest, bringing the King out in his Gowne, sitting in a Chaire: Richard and Hastings flyes ouer the Stage

Som. What are they that flye there? Warw. Richard and Hastings: let them goe, heere is the Duke

K.Edw. The Duke? Why Warwicke, when wee parted, Thou call'dst me King

Warw. I, but the case is alter'd. When you disgrac'd me in my Embassade, Then I degraded you from being King, And come now to create you Duke of Yorke. Alas, how should you gouerne any Kingdome, That know not how to vse Embassadors, Nor how to be contented with one Wife, Nor how to vse your Brothers Brotherly, Nor how to studie for the Peoples Welfare, Nor how to shrowd your selfe from Enemies? K.Edw. Yea, Brother of Clarence, Art thou here too? Nay then I see, that Edward needs must downe. Yet Warwicke, in despight of all mischance, Of thee thy selfe, and all thy Complices, Edward will alwayes beare himselfe as King: Though Fortunes mallice ouerthrow my State, My minde exceedes the compasse of her Wheele

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book